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2014 Tony Awards Winners: FULL LIST

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[SPOILERS]

The 2014 Tony Awards happen tonight. We'll be posting the winners here, so for those of you on the West Coast (where the show is delayed until 8 pm) who don't want spoilers, check back later and don't continue with this post.

Winners (updating live), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "2014 Tony Awards Winners: FULL LIST" »


Neil Patrick Harris Sings Two Tracks from the 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Cast Recording: LISTEN

Soundtrack_hedwig

The cast recording of Broadway's Hedwig and the Angry Inch is out today and Atlantic Records has put two tracks out - "Wig in a Box" and "Sugar Daddy" - and made them available on iTunes.

Check the full versions out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Neil Patrick Harris Sings Two Tracks from the 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' Cast Recording: LISTEN " »


Hugh Jackman Can't Stop Bouncing and It's Causing a Few Problems: VIDEO

Jackman

Hugh Jackman can't stop bouncing in this strange, lo-def teaser for the Tony Awards, which air on Sunday night with Jackman as host.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

In related news, have you seen our critic Naveen Kumar's predictions?

Continue reading "Hugh Jackman Can't Stop Bouncing and It's Causing a Few Problems: VIDEO" »


Who Will Win? 2014 Tony Awards Predictions

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BY NAVEEN KUMAR

The 2014 Tony Awards will be handed out Sunday at Radio City Music Hall, in a televised ceremony hosted by Broadway’s favorite brawny man Hugh Jackman. With the six-week long race nearing its finish line, a number of this year's nominees have gained clear momentum while other categories are still anyone’s game, including some of the night’s top honors.

GGLMBway0858rFormer Tony host and A-list gay Neil Patrick Harris is very likely to win for his balls-to-the-wall performance as the titular gender-indeterminate rock goddess in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The show also has a solid chance of taking home Best Revival of a Musical, and director Michael Mayer (American Idiot, Spring Awakening) is a strong competitor in the directing race for his work transforming the downtown cult hit into a big-ticket Broadway smash.

The Best Musical race is still open, though, and Mayer faces stiff competition from director Darko Tresnjak of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, the season’s most nominated show and a strong competitor for the evening’s top prize. Though The Bridges of Madison County was edged out of a Best Musical nom and recently closed due to poor sales, Jason Robert Brown is a favorite to win for his soaring, operatic score.

Beautiful_2647Beautiful: The Carole King Musical is also a strong competitor for Best Musical, with the baby-boomer favorite likely to score big in other categories, including a top acting prize for star Jessie Mueller in the title role and a possible win for book writer Douglas McGrath. Cotton-Club style revue After Midnight has also been an audience favorite since opening early in the season, and helmer Warren Carlyle is a likely win for his fiery-footed choreography.

Featured actor races are tight across the board, but the awards may go toward musicals otherwise under recognized—like James Monroe Iglehart for Aladdin or Nick Cordero for Bullets Over Broadway and Linda Emond for Cabaret.

CranstonThe race for leading man in a play seems similarly in the bag for another celebrated TV star, Bryan Cranston for his robust portrayal of LBJ in All the Way. Robert Schenkkan’s presidential drama is also a likely win for Best Play, facing down competition from veteran playwrights Terrence McNally (Mothers and Sons), James Lapine (Act One), Harvey Fierstein (Casa Valentina), and John Patrick Shanley (Outside Mullingar).

Audra McDonald has been showered with acclaim for her sensitive performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (which landed her in the play category despite being mostly sung), and is a longtime favorite of Tony voters (this would mark her sixth, with one in each of the four acting categories). But her competitors for Best Actress have also been critic and audience favorites, including LaTanya Richardson Jackson for her galvanizing performance in A Raisin in the Sun, and previous winners Cherry Jones (The Glass Menagerie) and Tyne Daly (Mothers and Sons).

RylanceFeatured actors from this season’s crop of new and revived plays are in tight competition, including two favorites from A Raisin in the Sun, Anika Noni Rose and Sophie Okonedo. As for supporting men, it’s a case of ‘may the best woman win’ among frock-wearing front-runners Mark Rylance (nominated for his turn as Lady Olivia in the Globe’s all-male production of Twelfth Night) and Reed Birney (playing a straight transvestite in Casa Valentina).  

Best Revival of a Play is also one of the season’s tightest races, between refreshing reboots of American classics (The Glass Menagerie, A Raisin in the Sun) and British imports (Twelfth Night, The Cripple of Inishmaan). For a season unusually packed with Shakespeare on and off Broadway, the Bard may take one home for the 10th anniversary production of director Tim Carroll’s benchmark Globe Theatre production.

Recent theatre features...
David Byrne and Fatboy Slim Musical ‘Here Lies Love’ Returns Off Broadway: REVIEW
Hollywood Snubs and Men in Tights: Rounding Up the 2014 Tony Award Nominations
Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams Open On Broadway in ‘Cabaret:’ REVIEW
Daniel Radcliffe Opens on Broadway in ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan:’ REVIEW
James Franco and Chris O’Dowd Open On Broadway In ‘Of Mice And Men:’ REVIEW

Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos:joan marcus, evgenia eliseeva)


Actor Fired For Ejecting Homophobic Heckler During 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' Performance

John Lacy as Big Daddy

Repertory East Playhouse in Santa Clara, CA was in the midst of their production of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof when one attendee began heckling the cast with homophobic slurs, evidently utterly ignorant of the fact that the main character Brick's latent homosexuality and relationship with his football buddy Skipper is one of the major driving plot elements. Actor John Lacy, who was playing the role of Big Daddy, couldn't take the heckler's slurs and got off the stage and physically removed him from the theater. He was immediately fired from the show.

Co-worker Anton Troy resigned in solidarity, saying on his Facebook account:

I will not support homophobia or an establishment that doesn't support its talent. Hate in any form is not something I choose to subscribe to. John is a seasoned professional and an honorable man. It should never escalate to a point where the talent has to handle an unruly drunk in the audience themselves regardless of the outcome. Producers dropped the ball, the fish stinks from the head on down.

Cast members Missy Kaye and Emily Low had a decidedly different opinion. Said Kaye,

By you jumping off the stage and putting your hands on this guy put the whole theatre in jeopardy, cast and audience, and to me that is unforgivable. What if this guy had a weapon? Did that cross your mind?

And Low, who didn't think Lacy should have been fired and soundly condemned the bigoted patron, said,

Sometimes you're gonna have those people in the crowd who don't understand that his is a high piece of art, or people who come into the show and don't even realize that it's a story about a person who's struggling with being gay. I disagreed with things being dealt with violently, that's all that it is.

One has to wonder what the fallout and opinions would have been had the patron been hurling racial slurs or anti-Semitic epithets. 


Hollywood Snubs and Men in Tights: Rounding Up the 2014 Tony Award Nominations

Hedwig

BY NAVEEN KUMAR

Nominees for the 68th annual Tony Awards were announced on Tuesday in a lineup that favors familiar tunes, revitalized classics and breakout performances by new and famous faces.

GM 3Some of the season’s biggest Hollywood names were overlooked, most notably in two star-driven revivals of American classics: Denzel Washington (A Raisin in the Sun) and Zachary Quinto (The Glass Menagerie) were both conspicuously passed over in productions otherwise showered with nominations, including for other cast members and leading actresses LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Cherry Jones. Daniel Radcliffe was unrecognized yet again in his third appearance on Broadway, for his performance in The Cripple of Inishmaan.

Surprising total shut outs were highbrow double bill Waiting for Godot and No Man’s Land, starring stage and screen faves Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and Will Eno’s off-center new play The Realistic Joneses. Though it boasts a full roster of stars, with Michael C. Hall, Toni Collette, Tracy Letts and Marissa Tomei all sharing the stage—it perhaps proved too inaccessible to appeal to voters.  

Cabaret - M. Williams Maybe This Time 0213Other, more expected A-list marquee snubs included Betrayal, starring Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz and Romeo and Juliet with Orlando Bloom, both early season offerings that enjoyed big business but received lukewarm critical reception. Michelle Williams was also passed over for her turn as Sally Bowles, as was the Roundabout’s remounting of Cabaret in the Best Revival of a Musical category, which it won in 1998 (Alan Cumming was not eligible this time around, having won for his performance the same year).

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder received the most nods, and it’s the only nominee for Best Musical that features a fully original score. Others, including Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and After Midnight, are packed with popular hits from other eras.

Disney’s latest cartoon-inspired offering Aladdin swooped in for the final Best Musical spot, nabbing it from other contenders who might have benefitted from the critical cache and box office juice, including Bullets Over Broadway and The Bridges of Madison County (which today announced it will close May 18). Though Bullets snagged a nomination for Best Book, begging the question of whether Woody will show at the Tonys (not likely).

Shax 1Two of five Best Play nominees, written by preeminent LGBT playwrights Terrence McNally (Mothers and Sons) and Harvey Fierstein (Casa Valentina), tangle with issues of sexuality, while half a dozen men in the acting categories are nominated for performing in women’s clothing—including Samuel Barnett and Mark Rylance for the Globe Theatre’s all-male production of Twelfth Night, and last year’s Tony host Neil Patrick Harris as the title character in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Leading stars in men’s clothing are easily recognized from their work on screen, including Bryan Cranston (All the Way), Tony Shalhoub (Act One) and Chris O’Dowd (Of Mice and Men). On the musical side, leading tough guys Andy Karl (Rocky) and Ramin Karimloo (Les Misérables) round out the pack with two gents from A Gentleman’s Guide, Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham.

Bridges247Women turned up underrepresented in creative categories, with just one of eight nominated directors (Leigh Silverman for Violet) and none among the writers of new plays and original scores. In the performance categories, the same week they received nominations, two Broadway favorites—Estelle Parsons in The Velocity of Autumn and Kelli O’Hara in The Bridges of Madison County— saw their shows post closing notices due to slow box office.

Other nominees for leading roles include previous winners Sutton Foster (Violet), Idina Menzel (If/Then) on the musical side and Tyne Daly (Mothers and Sons) and Audra McDonald, nominated in the play category for her performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (Ms. McDonald would become the first ever to win in all four acting categories). Two other leading ladies nominated for their performances as iconic musicians, Jessie Mueller (Beautiful) and Marie Bridget Davies (the shuttered A Night with Janis Joplin), were among the seasons biggest breakthroughs.

The Tony Awards, hosted by Hugh Jackman, will be broadcast on CBS from Radio City Musical Hall on Sunday, June 8.

Recent theatre features...
Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams Open On Broadway in ‘Cabaret:’ REVIEW
Daniel Radcliffe Opens on Broadway in ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan:’ REVIEW
James Franco and Chris O’Dowd Open On Broadway In ‘Of Mice And Men:’ REVIEW
Harvey Fierstein On Straight Men In Stockings And His New Broadway Play 'Casa Valentina': INTERVIEW
Woody Allen’s ‘Bullets Over Broadway’ Musical Starring Zach Braff Opens On Broadway: REVIEW

Follow Naveen Kumar on Twitter: @Mr_NaveenKumar (photos:joan marcus, michael j. lutch)


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